Rudy Haslam faces months of painful physiotherapy and could even lose movement in has hands after he crawled over a disposable barbecue buried amongst the sand on a beach.
The 21-month-old was playing in the sand at Proth lago beach, Gwynedd, North Wales, as his mum watched on (took out comma) when he went to knock down what he thought was a sandcastle.
To the toddler’s horror, the mound of sand was in fact an attempt to cover a hot barbecue.
Scalded by the hidden barbecue, Rudy was left with around 40 blisters, and “looked like he had put his hands in a bucket of acid”.
Rudy’s dad Joe, said: “We had been there for about half an hour putting up the wind breaks and the like.
“I had taken the older children rock-pooling while my wife Joanne and her friend looked after the smaller ones.
“Then I heard a loud scream and Rudy was holding his hands, which were covered in hot ash. When it was knocked off, the ash burnt holes in the deck chairs.
“We called 999 straight away and were told the nearest hospital was at Pwllheli so we took him there.”
“The doctors there gave him pain killers and set about lancing each blister and treating the burns”
During the journey, the family used cold drinks bottles to try and keep Rudy’s hands cool.
The poor tot was bandaged up and later referred him to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool for further treatment.
Joe said: “The doctors there gave him pain killers and set about lancing each blister and treating the burns.
“There were blisters on all his fingers and on the palms of both hands.
“We were shocked to learn it would take six to eight month to fully clear up and even then we have been warned he may lose some of the functioning of his hands due to depth and coverage of the burns.”
“We had checked the area for dog poo and glass, but we never thought of checking for a buried barbecue which was still red hot.
“There was no way of knowing it was there.”
North Wales Fire Service have since published advice for using disposable barbecues.
A spokeswoman said: “If you’re using a disposable barbecue, ensure it has cooled down before putting it in the bin.
“To avoid starting a fire, you should all it to cool for several hours and then consider pouring water over it to make sure it’s out.”